Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Deep Space Destructors - II (album review)

Deep Space Desctructors is a prog / space rock trio from Oulu, Finland.  They call their music "Progressive doomsday space rock" and that's about as self-aware and accurate a tag as you're likely to find from a band.  Doomy riffs, crash heavy drumming and wispy noises lay the foundation for the threatening and ghostly harmonies that propel the album forward.

Briefly, their music starts off calmly and serenely, inviting the listener into their tranquil and melodic world.  Once comfortably inside, however, the listener is attacked by heavy pummeling gyroscopic space rock.  This is how Deep Space Destructors operate.  They drone subtly, then veer off like a Jonestown escapee who just found a rocket with the keys in the ignition.

"Beneath the Black Star" begins this way.  A droney riff with only hints of menace becomes a bridge to carry the listener over a yawning chasm of windswept noise.  Nearly halfway across, the safety of the bridge is rocked by a second, doomy riff and the verse.  It's a tug of war between melodic safety and downtuned riff-laden doom.  Before the listener knows it the bridge collapses, "rotting away" and the doom wins.  A brief reprise of the melodic riff becomes the soundtrack to the listener's descent into the misty chasm below.

Again, "Deserted Planet 2078" begins much the same way.  There's that classic tug of war between light and dark.  Of course, the dark side wins.  Toward the end of the song DSD opens things up with an ascending slide riff that hauls ass and burns dark matter rubber in space.  This is the song the band choose to introduce new listeners to themselves with and one can't argue against the choice.  It's got a little of everything the band does and some of the best moments from the album.  In a way, it's their most accessible tune.

The opening of "Space Phantasy" brings to mind the best of late 60s progressive rock, specifically the Canterbury Scene and The Soft Machine.  There are other moments on the disc which might bring to mind such other period luminaries as Caravan, The Egg or their heavier precursors Arzachel.  Before long however, goggles and crash helmets are adorned and "Space Phantasy" gets aerodynamic.  The band take their time building songs in non-euclidean levels and layers of riffs, noises and structural detours before finding ways to make their improbable flying machines take off, like Launchpad McQuack piloting the Winchester Mystery House.

Though it's not on their Bandcamp, Soundcloud or ReverbNation pages, the actual disc has a fourth track, called "Sykli", sung in Finnish.  It's a different sounding tune with a different kind of vibe.  The band maintain their distinctive flavor but even a cursory or background listen will reveal the difference between this song and its predecessors.  Suddenly, the listener is no longer adrift in space but staring whimsically out across a choppy sea from a rocky outcrop.  It's not all wistful longing however, as halfway through the band breaks back into the heavy stuff with some interesting breakdowns and build-ups.

There's a warmth to the instruments and a coolness or a distance in the song structures that I can't quite put my finger on which creates a greenery in a space ship feel.  All in all, 'II' is a very worthy addition to the space rock oeuvre and one that I will enjoy listening to for many months to come.

Highlights include: "Beneath The Black Star" and "Deserted Planet 2078"

Rating: 4/5

Total Run Time: 38:13

From: Oulu, Finland

Genre: Space Rock, Psychedelic, Prog, Doom

Reminds me of: Caravan, Dryasdust, Hawkwind, Soft Machine, The Wandering Midget

Release Date: November 28, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Immersed in a pond, clinging to a mossy log, staring out the porthole of the space ship "Gardenia"

Deep Space Destructors on Facebook
Deep Space Destructors on ReverbNation
Deep Space Destructors on Soundcloud

Excellent artwork by Markus Räisänen from


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...